Conference of NGOs (CoNGO)

NGO CSW-NY Youth Leaders & Young Professionals Launch Event

Come learn how young people can engage in the gender equality discourse during 2021!

NGO CSW/NY has recently revamped our Youth Leaders & Young Professionals (YLYPs) Program. To introduce our new program, we’re hosting a launch event to inform and prepare for youth engagement in the NGO CSW65 Forum and the Generation Equality Forum. Come ready to share your ideas and how NGO CSW can support your work in 2021.

Register here!


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit

Nuclear Weapons and International Law in the Contemporary Era

You are invited to: A Virtual Conference on Nuclear Weapons and International Law in the Contemporary Era

12 November 2020, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST

Seeking to address the huge gap in public awareness of nuclear weapons risk and applicable international law, the New York State Bar Association International Section is holding an all-day virtual conference that will bring together leading public officials, thought-leaders, policymakers, and experts for a comprehensive look at this often ignored subject.

According to Professor Charles J. Moxley, Jr., an LCNP director and a conference organizer, “International law may well hold the world’s best prospect for addressing and getting ahead of the existential risks posted by nuclear weapons.”

Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (LCNP) is one of the co-sponsors of the conference and is well-represented in the program.

Register (no charge) and see the agenda here.

Among the speakers:

  • Professor Moxley, Kathleen Lawand of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Professor David Koplow of Georgetown Law
  • Izumi Nakamitsu, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, will deliver a keynote address, followed by a panel on the role of the United Nations featuring her, LCNP Senior Analyst John Burroughs, Allison Pytlak of Reaching Critical Will/WILPF, and LCNP Executive Director Ariana Smith (moderator)
  • Jerry Brown, former Governor of California and Executive Chairman, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, will engage in a dialogue on responding to the greatest threats to humanity with Jonathan Granoff, President of Global Security Institute and an LCNP director
  • A panel on advancing the rule of law and morality in relation to nuclear weapons includes Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director of Western States Legal Foundation, LCNP advisor Laurie Ashton, an attorney who served on the legal team for the Marshall Islands in its nuclear disarmament cases in the International Court of Justice, and Tom Collina, Director of Policy, Ploughshares Fund, and co-author with William Perry of The Button

Additional panels will address nuclear weapons risks, consequences and responses, and the treaty regime on nuclear weapons.

Conference co-sponsors in addition to LCNP are Fordham Law School, Center on National Security; Georgetown University, Berkley Center for Religion, Ethics and World Affairs; American Bar Association, International Law Section; New York City Bar Association, Committees on International Law, Military and Veteran Affairs, Nuclear Policy and the United Nations, and Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice; New York County Lawyers Association, Committee on Foreign & International Law; Global Security Institute.


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace, and Security, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit

High-Level Webinar: 10 years of protecting freedom of assembly and association

Webinar banner

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. In a High-Level Webinar with Ministers and other prominent speakers, the Special Rapporteur calls for an assessment of the progress made and renewed commitments from States and civil society. Please join us on 12 November 2020 (9 AM New York time) for an exciting event to support the protection of freedom of assembly and association!
You will find the link to sign-up directly in the flyer or click here to register. Simultaneous French and Spanish interpretation will be provided.

High-Level Webinar: 10 years of protecting freedom of assembly and association

Celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.

High-Level Webinar with:
Clément Voule – Special Rapporteur
Tomáš Petříček – Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic
Linas Antanas Linkevičius – Foreign Minister of Lithuania
Nada Al-Nashif – Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights
Eamon Gilmore – EU Special Representative for Human Rights
Hina Jilani – The Elders, pioneering lawyer and pro-democracy campaigner
Mireille Tushiminina – Cameroon Women’s Peace Movement
Claudia Virginia Samayoa- Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Guatemala

Douglas Rutzen – President of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

• In 2010, the Human Rights Council created the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. The year 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the mandate. The current Special Rapporteur, Clément Voule, wants to use this opportunity to take stock and look forward.

• Over the course of the last ten years, the mandate has guided and contributed to many achievements in the protection of FoAA rights as well as civic space globally.

• Human rights in general and FoAA specifically are at a watershed in today’s difficult global context. The Covid-19 crisis, which has engulfed the world in 2020, has clearly exposed the detrimental effects that global crises, including public health ones, can have on an already battered civic space.

• This high-level webinar seeks to take stock on the first decade of the work of the mandate and initiate discussions with a view for the promotion and protection of the rights to FoAA around the world. The 10 year anniversary of the mandate provides a unique opportunity to build the next 10 years and beyond with renewed energy and commitments.

Nov 12, 2020 03:00 PM in Zurich


CoNGO Notes: 1. For information about the engagement of non-governmental organizations with the Human Rights Council, see: 2) For information about how CoNGO’s engagement with the issue of human rights and with the Human Rights Council, contact the NGO Committees on Human Rights in Geneva and New York. 3) See also

No Gun Ri Global Peace Forum (CoNGO President scheduled to address the Forum)



Interactive Dialogue with WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

It is a pleasure to invite you to participate in an interactive civil society dialogue with WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on 4 November 2020 with the theme Strengthening connections across sectors: Building partnerships for healthy ageing in and beyond the COVID-19 era.
Older people and those with underlying health conditions are facing the most significant risks from COVID-19, yet neither are they invisible or powerless. In this space of both tragedy and opportunity CSOs working with these groups are the glue of solidarity globally, nationally, locally and at the community level. WHO leadership has a pivotal role to play in reinforcing the need for strategic action across WHO Departments and offices, with a common goal of improving the health (in the broadest sense) and well being of older people, and protecting their rights, during and living with the impact of the pandemic.


Jane Barratt, International Federation on Ageing
Voice of older people in COVID-19:  Maciej Kucharczyk, AGE Platform Europe
Enabling age-friendly environments, including measuring their impact:  Grace Chan, Hong Kong Council of Social Services
Vaccination to older adults and those with underlying conditions:  Michael Moore, World Federation Public Health Associations
Regulated home-based and residential / institutional long-term care and support:  Isabella Aboderin, International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG),
African Region
Including older people in all NCDs (including mental health) data and responses:  Justin Derbyshire, HelpAge International
Humanizing loss, grief, bereavement, and the last days of life: Alexandre Kalache, International Longevity Centre, Brazil
Organized by the International Federation on Ageing, HelpAge International, ILC Brazil and the NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva and supported by many organizations, this interactive session forms part of the series of Civil Society-WHO Director General dialogues being organized on different topics of interest for the civil society, related to the COVID-19 response.
Join this innovative program of lightning talks on technical and systemic issues, good practice and concrete action which we believe will support a stronger focus on healthy ageing at global, regional, national and community levels.
Date and Time:
Wednesday 4 November 2020
8:00–9:30am (EST – New York) | 2:00-3:30pm (CET – Geneva)


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-New York, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit

Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond



Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

Monday, 2 November 2020, 9:00-11:30 AM EDT


The COVID-19 pandemic and the social and economic crisis it triggered are threatening the well-being of billions of people and risk derailing the global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address the growing climate emergency. In some parts of the world, the pandemic is fast turning into a humanitarian crisis, pushing entire populations into a state of acute food deprivation. International cooperation and solidarity among all stakeholders are imperatives to respond to the crisis induced by the pandemic and ensure an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous future.

On 28 May 2020, the Prime Ministers of Canada, Jamaica and the Secretary-General convened a High-Level Event on “Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond” to join forces with Heads of State and Government, international organizations, and other key partners to enable discussions of concrete financing solutions to the COVID-19 health and development emergency, guided by the roadmap set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Six Member States-led Discussion Groups, including civil society representatives, produced a comprehensive and bold menu of policy options to survive and build back better from this crisis, which were presented to Finance Ministers at a High-Level Meeting on 8 September and to Heads of State and Government at a Leaders’ Meeting at 29 September.

Building on this initiative, the meeting will provide an open and inclusive space for dialogue between civil society and the UN Secretary-General in order to explore critical pathways to better recover from the crisis and systemic solutions to fix our broken global economic architecture. In focusing on development financing, the meeting will put a human face to the challenges exposed and magnified by the pandemic, including the intersections between systemic economic reforms and the challenges and demands of peoples and their communities.

Please indicate your intention to attend this Roundtable by registering here by Saturday, October 31st, at 5PM EDT.


For more information, please visit the website or email


We hope you will join us for this exciting event.

Best wishes,

The SDG Financing Team

Civil Society Meeting


Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond

Monday, 2 November 2020, 9:00-11:30AM ET

Provisional Agenda

Opening Segment

Master of Ceremony Ms. Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

  • Opening Statement by H.E. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Remarks by H.E. Munir Akram, President of ECOSOC
  • Remarks by H.E. Bob Rae, Permanent Representative of Canada
  • Remarks by H.E. Courtenay Rattray, Permanent Representative of Jamaica
  • Presentation of Financing for Development Initiative by Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, Special Envoy on Financing the 2030 Agenda
  • Remarks by Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator, Asian People’s Movement on Debt & Development (APMDD)

Interlude 1 – Video Testimonial from Lima, Peru

Dialogue 1 –A New Global Economic Consensus to advance the 2030 Agenda

The first dialogue will focus on strategies proposed by civil society to strengthen the role of the United Nations in establishing a new global economic consensus to advance the agendas of human rights, gender equality, climate and sustainable development.

Moderator: Patricia Miranda, Global Advocacy Director, Red Latinoamericana por Justicia Económica y Social (LATINDADD)

  • A new feminist economy

Bhumika Muchhala, Third World Network and Women’s Working Group on FfD

  • Reconnecting UN processes on human rights & economic governance

Kate Donald, Director of Program, Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)

  • The UN role in promoting a Just Transition

David Boys, Deputy General Secretary, Public Services International (PSI)

  • Relaunching a vibrant UN process on Trade & Development

Tetteh Hormeku, Head of Programmes, Third World Network Africa

  • Strengthening the normative dimensions of the UN STI process

Elenita Daño, Co-Executive Director, ETC Group

  • Open Dialogue with interventions from the floor (2 min interventions)
    • Mohammed Ali Loutfy, Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities
    • Interventions from the floor

Interlude 2 – Multilingual music performance featuring artists from Latin America, Africa and Asia

Dialogue 2 – Menu of Options for Development Financing: Need to Focus on Strengthening Fiscal & Policy Space for Socio-Economic Transformation

The second dialogue will focus on civil society’s responses and proposals with respect to the Menu of Options, highlighting the elements of the menu that civil society supports and stressing the need for clear criteria on which elements on the menu the UN should focus on in order to strengthen fiscal & policy space for socio-economic transformation of developing countries.

Moderator: Jean Letitia Saldanha, Director, European Network on Debt and Development (EURODAD)

  • Debt Sustainability

Farooq Tariq, General Secretary, Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee

  • Illicit Financial Flows

Caroline Othim, Policy Coordinator for Africa, Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ)

  • Intersection of Debt and Illicit Financial Flows with Food, Health and Education

Rebecca Malay, Co-Chair, Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP)

  • Global Liquidity and Financial Regulation

Artemisa Montes Sylvan, Executive Director, Mexican Observatory on Crises (OMEC)

  • Fiscal Consolidation, Austerity and Privatization of Public Services

Magdalena Sepulveda, Executive Director, Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR)

  • Need for a special focus on Social Protection

Nicola Wiebe, Social Protection Advisor, Bread for the World and Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors

  • Open Dialogue with interventions from the floor (2 min interventions)
    • Helen Saldanha, NGO Committee on Financing for Development
    • Paul Divakar, Asia Dalits Rights Forum
    • Interventions from the floor

Interlude 3 – Musical and dancing performance on social protection Closing Segment

Master of Ceremony Ms. Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

  • Concluding remarks by civil society:

Peter Kamalingin, Pan Africa Program Director, Oxfam International

Beverly Longid, Co-Chair, CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE)

  • Concluding remarks by Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

Closing Testimonial – Poem by Marumbo


CoNGO Notes: To know more about the work of the NGO Committee on Financing for Development-NY, including how to become a member, send an email to its Chair, Anita Thomas, at, and visit their website,  See also the Committee’s social media handle on Facebook: NGOsOnFfD and @NGOsonFfD. 

[postponed] 21st session, Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development

Announcement to civil society partners & interested participants:

The twenty-first session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development, planned to take place from 2 to 6 November 2020, is postponed to 3-7 May 2021, Ariana 1, Palais des Nations, Geneva, due to the current circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organized by the NGO Liaison Unit, Political Affairs and Partnerships Section
Office of the Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva, Palais des Nations,


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on Social Development, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-Vienna, please visit

United Nations Association of the Philippines 75th Anniversary Event {CoNGO President Speaks}

UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES (UNAP), Member, World Federation of United Nations Association (WFUNA), invites you to join in our 75th UN Day Celebration

October 24, 2020

10:00AM (Manila) 10:00PM/October 23 (New York EDT)

Join via Zoom :

Meeting ID: 833 8936 2814
Passcode: 244993

Invocation – Audio Visual Presentation

National Anthem – Audio Visual Presentation

Opening Remarks – Amelou Benitez Reyes, Ph.D.

The UN International Year of Nurses and Midwifes

Philippines International Year of Healthcare Workers – PCW Chair Sandy S. Montano

The Philippines at UN – Amb. Noralyn Jubair-Baja

The Message of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres – Mr. Gustavo Gonzalez

Revitalizing Gen. Carlos P. Romulo’s – Hon. Cong. Roman Romulo

Contribution to Education, UN and World Peace

Strengthening NGO participation in the UN…………………… Rev. Liberato “Levi” Bautista

UN Education for World Peace…………………………………… Hon. Arch. Charles John Brown

Presentation of the Gen. CPR Award…………………………… Ramona Ines B. Rañeses, Ph.D.

Response from the Awardee…………………………………….. Department of Education

Closing Remarks…………………………………………………… Prof. Alice Aguilar Lucas

UNAP Executive Secretary

Master of Ceremony: Roderick C. Cruz, UNAP Board Member


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the Conference of NGOs at the United Nations, and what it is doing to celebrate the UN Day and the 75th UN anniversary, visit

{Livestream from Geneva} 30th Anniversary of International Day of Older Persons

Live Stream virtual event: 30th Anniversary of International Day of Older Persons 
Livestream: Password: Meetus@99  or password: Meetus@99
Co-organized by the NGO Committee on Ageing, Geneva with UNFPA, OHCHR and WHO
to mark the International Day of Older Persons  on Thursday 1 October 14:00-15:00 CET/ Geneva time, 08:00-09:00 EDT/New York
See flyer here.  See Concept Note here.
CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO committees working on issues related to ageing and older persons, that are affiliated with CoNGO, please contact: NGO Committee on Ageing-Geneva, please visit; NGO Committee on Ageing-New York, please visit; NGO Committee on Ageing-Vienna, please visit

{Virtual} UN Summit on Biodiversity


30 September 2020, New York

For more information, see:


Urgent Action on Biodiversity for Sustainable Development


Addressing biodiversity loss and mainstreaming biodiversity for sustainable development


Harnessing science, technology and innovation, capacity-building, access and benefit-sharing, financing and partnerships for biodiversity

The United Nations Summit on Biodiversity will be convened by the President of the General Assembly on 30 September 2020, at the level of Heads of State and Government under the theme of “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.”

Our societies are intimately linked with and depend on biodiversity. Biodiversity is essential for people, including through its provision of nutritious food, clean water, medicines, and protection from extreme events. Biodiversity loss and the degradation of its contributions to people jeopardize progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and human wellbeing. The evidence of these connections is clear.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of the relationship between people and nature. We are reminded that when we destroy and degrade biodiversity, we undermine the web of life and increase the risk of disease spillover from wildlife to people. Responses to the pandemic provide a unique opportunity for transformative change as a global community. An investment in the health of our planet is an investment in our own future.

The Summit will highlight the crisis facing humanity from the degradation of biodiversity and the urgent need to accelerate action on biodiversity for sustainable development. It will provide an opportunity for Heads of State and Government and other leaders to raise ambition for the development of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021. This framework, and its effective implementation, must put nature on a path to recovery by 2030 to meet the SDGs and realize the Vision of “Living in harmony with nature”.

As we approach the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity 2011-2020, progress towards global biodiversity targets including those of the SDGs has been insufficient. While there are many local examples of success, biodiversity is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with growing impacts on people and our planet.

Recent assessments by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) concluded that species extinction rates are tens to hundreds of times higher now than historical averages, that:

75% of the Earth’s land surface has been significantly altered by human actions, including for example the loss of 85% of the area of wetlands
The 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the start of the UN decade of action and delivery on SDGs, and the UN Decades on ecosystem restoration and on ocean science for sustainable development, among others, provide additional context for the Summit. Together, they remind us of the urgent need to recognize our dependence on a healthy planet and to work together for transformative change.

The Summit is an opportunity to demonstrate leadership and commitment to improve our relationship with nature, addressing the causes of change, and ensuring that biodiversity and the contributions it provides to all people are at the heart of sustainable development and the fight against climate change


CoNGO Notes: The CoNGO committees related to sustainable development and indigenous peoples put high priority to biodiversity. For information about these and other NGO substantive committees, visit

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